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  1. #11
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    No it is not possible to communicate without language. Symbols become strongly attached to our ideas, yet they can only invade certain ideas, yet not the creator of ideas in itself-the mind. So the mind produces without symbols and they only stick to some that have been influenced earlier on by the language that we have encountered in the world.

    Symbolic representation of ideas can only come from the outside, not from within, therefore it is not possible for an idea to be born with a symbol. Maybe shortly after its birth it may be attached to one, but this will be because of its affiliation with ideas that have long been associated with a particular symbol.
    But why can't an idea be a symbol? What is an idea if not connection made between different things? No idea can exists by itself without context. Can the symbol not be just a label for the idea? Hmmmm this is getting into sematics. Symbol is what the idea is called... vs idea is what the symbol means. Are to two the same or different?

  2. #12
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightning View Post
    But why can't an idea be a symbol? What is an idea if not connection made between different things? No idea can exists by itself without context. Can the symbol not be just a label for the idea? Hmmmm this is getting into sematics. Symbol is what the idea is called... vs idea is what the symbol means. Are to two the same or different?
    Ideas are born within our minds. An idea is necessary in order to create a symbol, yet a symbol as we understand it to be in a conventional language can not be born within the mind. It must involve at least two ideas, the idea that is immanent within it and the idea of the symbol.

  3. #13
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    Hmmm so thought itself isn't completely symbolic... but it ultilizes symbols. Great...

  4. #14
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightning View Post
    Hmmm so thought itself isn't completely symbolic... but it ultilizes symbols. Great...
    Only after it has been exposed to symbols. But then again a symbol could be concocted from within, as we can make words up for example, but nonetheless utilization of symbols stems from unconscious associations, yet they are not fundamental to thought, they are supplemental.


    Symbols are not necessary for rational thought because they have been created by communicators, and were not natural entailments of birth of ideas.

  5. #15
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    Only after it has been exposed to symbols.
    In the current society... is it possible to not be exposed to symbols? Even in animals certain sounds have symbolic representations. As HebertSpace had been saying... chemical concentration gradient that bacteria uses can be symbolic. In terms of the mental capacity of the human mind, will thoughts be at the level/complexity it currently is without the use of symbols?

    Edit: point taken, but nonetheless symbolics play a large role in our thinking

  6. #16
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    I don't think we can fully dissect rational thought from language. The act of learning language imposes structure on the mind. Therefore, even if one is capable of experiencing nonverbal thought (as in Daphne's music/art example), the thought is taking place in a mind that has been structured by a native tongue.

  7. #17
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    I don't think we can fully dissect rational thought from language. The act of learning language imposes structure on the mind. Therefore, even if one is capable of experiencing nonverbal thought (as in Daphne's music/art example), the thought is taking place in a mind that has been structured by a native tongue.

    Language impresses itself upon certain ideas of ours that are commonplace in our thought, but not on the mind itself. The mind does not think in symbols, only some ideas that it comes up with later (perhaps even within less than a second of their birth) get attached to them.

  8. #18
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    Language impresses itself upon certain ideas of ours that are commonplace in our thought, but not on the mind itself. The mind does not think in symbols, only some ideas that it comes up with later (perhaps even within less than a second of their birth) get attached to them.
    I disagree. I think the very act of learning a language irreversibly changes the mind. (Or, I guess reversibly-- it seems to atrophe in the case of feral children who once knew some language.)

  9. #19
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    I disagree. I think the very act of learning a language irreversibly changes the mind.
    We can easily think about things that we can not talk about, or not yet be able to express them in a linguistic format. It is clear that our new ideas that have not been symbolized will be influenced by our acquaintance with symbols in the past, our new ideas do not depend on them for their existence. So despite that language does irreversible change the mind, it is still not necessary for rational thought.

  10. #20
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    We can easily think about things that we can not talk about, or not yet be able to express them in a linguistic format. It is clear that our new ideas that have not been symbolized will be influenced by our acquaintance with symbols in the past, our new ideas do not depend on them for their existence. So despite that language does irreversible change the mind, it is still not necessary for rational thought.
    What I'm saying is that we cannot ultimately separate rational thought from language-- even though we're capable of thinking wordlessly, we're still thinking wordlessly in a mind constrained (and, in other ways, set free) by language. There's still the one-degree-of-separation between the ineffable and our thought processes, and it's because of our language. It is still ineffable, but the rigor that language imposes on the brain prevents us from fully experiencing the ineffable.

    Do you remember how emotions seemed so much more raw before you had the linguistic skills to symbolize them? Now that you can say "I feel angry," anger has less potency.

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